The order interferes with the administration of federal immigration law, the Justice Department said in its complaint to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso.
On Wednesday, Abbott signed the order that said “no one, other than a federal, state or local law enforcement officer, shall provide ground transportation to a group of migrants” who were detained by federal agents. immigration for an undocumented border. crossings.
He also ordered the State Public Security Department “to stop any vehicle on reasonable suspicion of a violation” and gives the department the power to “redirect such vehicle to its point of origin or a port. entry ”.
Abbott’s order said the new policy was justified because of “President Joe Biden’s refusal to enforce laws passed by the United States Congress” and that the measure is intended to protect Texans from exposure to the sun. COVID-19.
Abbott did not explain how the measure would prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, which has seen cases among state residents increase by more than 200% in the past two weeks. About 44 percent of Texans are fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Homeland Security on Friday resumed expedited deportation flights for families of migrants recently arrived at the US-Mexico border, amid a surge in the number of migrants on the southern border. .
The department said in a statement that the flights would carry Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran migrant families who could not be immediately deported under a coronavirus-related public health policy and had no legal basis to stay in the country. country.
“We make it clear that those who do not qualify to stay in the United States will be promptly deported,” the statement said.
Migrant crossings typically decline during the hot summer months, but arrests at the southern border increased in June to their highest level since April 2000. July tally is expected to be similar or even higher, two officials say of the border patrol who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Immigration, and in particular the arrival of asylum seekers at the southern border of the United States, has been a hot topic for decades. Multiple attempts to reform US laws and create a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living illegally in the country have failed in Congress.